Friday, April 6, 2018

Success - Pie!


So last Sunday I got out my new-to-me food processor ($5) and began making the lemon meringue pie my Mother had a craving for.  It just happens to be my favorite kind of pie too so I was ok with making it.  Yes, it is much easier to make crust in a food processor.  I used this recipe from allrecipes.com.  In the photo above the butter and shortening had been added.  There is simply no way to break up cold butter and shortening with a knife/fork like you can in a processor, that is why it is so much easier.  You also add water one drop at a time as less is best.  If you follow the directions exactly you will have tasty no-fail pie crust that is flaky.



Unfortunately there was not enough meringue - next time I am doubling the meringue portion of the pie to 4 egg whites - but it tasted great and in the end that is what was important.

 Easter supper was hubby's ribs, my potato salad and corn on the cob.  We made enough for 2 meals for all 3 of us so we could have proper leftovers on Monday.

Mom and I did well thrifting on Saturday, nothing for resaling but I found these as new sketchers in my size!  They usually cost between $50-80.  I bought them for $5!  As Jane over at Life Begins At Retirement got me onto these Sketcher Go Walks last year I have come to love how comfortable they are for walking 11000 steps a day.  I own two other pair purchased brand new (one just last month), never thought I would find a pair used in excellent condition.  They've been through the washing machine and air dried and you would never know someone else had used them.  It is possible someone bought them and doesn't walk like me and they were relegated to the back of the closet.
 I also found something that I have been wanting for a long time.  A cheese grater, specifically for parmesan cheese.  Yes, you can use a regular grater but I end up grating part of my fingers along with the cheese.  This is what restaurants use when they add extra cheese to your salad or pasta.  They go for about $20 but I refuse to pay that much for something I rarely use.  I ended up paying $1.50 - yes!
After a more than normal amount of sunshine in March we are having a rainy start to March.  Buddy hates rain so is lazing about and sticking in front of the fireplace when we have it on.  If it is sunny he asks to go outside to do his business about 8 times a day, in the rain and wind twice maximum.  Funny dog.

The March grocery budget was $586.94 Canadian funds ($575 plus some leftover from February).  I ended up at $568.25!  Just to give you an idea on how this is spent:  $322.78 on food, $28.45 on non food(cleaning supplies, toilet paper), $201.46 on over the counter medications and vitamins, and $15.59 in tax.

This was an especially high month for OTCs.  We self insure for medical costs as I have done the math and most of the plans out there for two people would cost more than pay as we go.  We do not wish to be on medication long term unless absolutely necessary.  Hubby has a couple of medical issues and so do I but nothing that will kill us, diseases that we will live with forever.  Most of them can be treated with OTCs except his asthma and a skin ailment.    We have a Costco membership particularly for the purpose of keeping our OTC costs down as they simply are the cheapest place to buy them.  We do use the membership for food as well but primarily for the medications.  I always buy the largest package at the lowest price, therefore when I stock up it is costly.  Why we pay so much more in Canada for OTCs than the USA I don't understand.  It is 2 to 3 times as costly.

We have 5%  goods and services tax and 7 % provincial tax.  Neither is charged on non-convenience food.  Most OTCs we only pay GST and on non-food items and convenience foods (pop, chips etc) we pay both at 12%.  I include tax in my budget since I have to pay it.

Have you ever noticed that food that has zero nutritional value and a ton of sugar and chemicals (but tastes really good) like those on sale cupcakes they place right by the till are dirt cheap to buy?  I only buy fruit and veggies that are within certain dollar limits or on sale.  Sometimes I buy frozen fruit because it is out of season and way cheaper that way, actually even goes on sale like frozen mangos.  I have had a super craving for watermelon but refuse to pay $4.99 for the 20 bite mini ones and $10 for the big ones...it's just not fair.  I have to wait another couple months and then will be in watermelons again.  Yes I treat myself to things but I refuse to pay such ridiculous food prices.  Right now I have frozen mango, blueberries, cranberries and blackberries(free) in the freezer and oranges for fresh fruit.

Our Europe adventure to Italy and France is just three weeks away today - I have the huge urge to pack right now, but that will only stress the dog out (he knows what the suitcase means) so I will hold off.  There are a few final prep details I need to take care of but other than that everyone has passports, suitcases and some cash so I think we are ready!

Anyway, that's what is shaking in my world other than being really busy with work - but we can't complain about that as we are self employed.  Have a great weekend everyone!

32 comments:

  1. The pie looks great and I take your word that it tastes great as well!
    Enjoy your sketchers and the cheese grater! Quite a bargain!
    Europe is cold till the end of May, so don't forget to take some warm clothes.

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    1. I pack for all weather, Paris will be colder than the part of Italy we are going so definitely will be taking some warm clothes, I hate being cold.

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  2. Fresh watermelon . . . yum! And yes, why is the nasty chemical food so cheap to buy?!

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    1. Every...single...time - always near the checkout.

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  3. Isn't your hubs a bit floppy without his ribs?

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    1. Hahaha - I see how I typed that lol

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  4. Anticipation of a vacation is part of the fun isn't it? Especially after the hard work of organizing it. I'm looking forward to the stories on your return.

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    1. Thanks Susan, I am hoping all goes as planned and we don't get caught up in one of Italy or France's infamous strikes :(

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  5. I love lemon meringue pie and it has been ages since I made it.
    for fruit bananas are a go to and we eat canned fruit as well...I love the taste.
    I will be embarking on my own Italian journey in 90 days...what do you do fro cell phone service? do you just go without or do you have a special plan? How much clothes do you pack? I am like a hen without a head! lol I need guidance!

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    1. Our cells are with Bell. We forward our house phone which is our second company phone to hubby's cell which is another company phone. I keep mine in airplane mode except to use free wifi. Bell has a european roaming package that we used last year, not cheap but necessary with our company, I think it was about 70 or 80 dollars with a little bit of data and x amount of minutes. We only use data there if we get lost and need to find the nearest metro. Call your cell carrier, most have a plan of some sort

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  6. Replies
    1. Thanks, our thrift stores are pretty great around here

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  7. I will have to check into the Skeecher Go Walk shoes. They look super comfortable.

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    1. They are as long as you find the right size, they come in wide as well so fit almost anyone. They aren't the most fashion forward shoes but ever so comfortable and the black ones look nicer than my older pair(hubby says they look like slippers)

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  8. Have you packed and left him home? I would want to start packing so I would not forget anything. I think I would get a clothes basket or something to start collecting. I hate junk food costs so much more than nice fruit!

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    1. We have a master packing list that I created 4 years ago when we went to Portugal, we use it for every trip no matter where we are going. I rarely forget anything....but we have adult kids along that I am sure will forget something. The good thing about Italy and France as we can likely buy whatever they forget, albeit at expensive prices.

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  9. Ooh, I will keep an eye out for those walking shoes as I plan on getting into an early morning routine this summer. Great grater! I have to get one too.

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    1. They are excellent, you likely can get them way cheaper in the states. They are so comfortable. Just don't buy too small a size. I have an 8 medium and a 9 and they almost fit identically, even worth it if you have to pay full price although they do go on sale once in a while

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  10. Ooh, now you have me craving lemon meringue pie. Jerry! Jerry!!!

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    1. Does he take menu requests like that? :)

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  11. Terrific bargains says someone who bought an expensive Pampered Chef cheese grater 20 years ago.I hear you on the dog.

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    1. We've all fallen into that trap with some appliance lol

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  12. The PC frozen fruit was on sale yesterday :) so bought 3 bags! I like having a supply for when the fresh fruit runs out and it's not shopping day yet...and Kazi uses them in smoothies. Me, I put them on my oatmeal, after I've warmed them up of course! Your pie looks delcious - it brought back memories of my brother and I fighting over who got to scrape out the pot that my mother used to make the lemon filling :)

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    1. Funny you should say that, hubby snapped up the pot with the lemon filling and licked it dry - just a big kid

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  13. Your ability to find such great deals is simply amazing! Perhaps there are similar opportunities here but I've no idea where to start.

    I bought a lemon merinque pie at Superstore a couple of weeks ago for $3. I couldn't believe the price and as I'm too lazy to make my own, I figured it was well worth it.

    Oh, another adventure to look forward to! I'll look forward to seeing photos and hearing about it. Enjoy!

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    1. I happen to love the thrifts - you have to go regularly to see which ones are decent though, not all of them are equal. For $3 it is worth it to buy premade although might not taste quite as good as homemade. I find their Farmers pies quite good - Costco has great pies but they are way too big for 3 people, great for feeding a crowd but they actually taste really good for a premade pie.

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  14. Love lemon meringue pie, only pie I eat.

    Looking forward to your Europe trip.

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    1. It was yummy and needs a repeat with way more meringue. You must be looking forward to getting home and going on your Europe trip too - you and Colin always take such great pictures

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  15. I would most certainly choose frozen veggies over stuff that is not in season and shipped from a distance at greater expense. It's mostly a $$ thing but also flavor. I use mostly canned tomatoes this time of year.

    I have been dying to try making lemon curd for a pie using my sous vide. I hear it does a nice job. Making meringue intimidates me, which has been mainly what holds me back.

    I am now going to look out for the Sketchers when I thrift too! I'm walking my dog a lot more these days!

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    1. My first meringue failed (old eggs) so I opened a new pack of eggs and the second ones worked like a charm, apparently old eggs just won't work and for the cost of a couple of egg whites worth turfing and starting over. Just make sure to buy the right size sketchers, not too tight. I do have one pair that are a bit tight in my size but will take some more walking to get them to relax.

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  16. You did a cracking job on the lemon meringue pie - a British school dinner staple for us children of the 1970s! Bet you didn't serve yours with lumpy custard! xxx

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    1. No lumpy custard lol. I love lemon meringue pie - that and cherry pie which is up next when we get back from our holidays

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